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Das Wrack aus dem Hafen von Kallatis am Schwarzen Meer
Octavian Bounegru

Vom Wrack zum Schiff

Rckschluss vom Wrackbefund auf Umstnde und Verlauf des Seeunfalls

Wilfried Stecher

Kyrenia and Maagan Mikhael Shipwrecks

A Comparative Dendroarchaeological Study
Nili Liphschitz

Archaeology and Data Management in the Surf Zone

On the Recovery and Interpretation of Cultural Material in Near Shore Waters

Justin Leidwanger

Underwater off the Crimea

Archaeological explorations and excavations on the shelf of the Black Sea

Yana Morozova

The Newport Medieval Ship

Her Three-Dimensional Digital Recording and Analysis

Toby Jones

Die Ladung des Wracks Ria de Aveiro A (lhavo, Portugal)

Vorlufige Gedanken zum historischen und kulturellen Kontext

Jos Bettencourt Patrcia Carvalho

Zehn Jahre AMLA

Die Arbeitsgruppe fr maritime und limnische Archologie an der Christian-Albrechts-Universitt Kiel

Erich Halbwidl Florian Huber

The PIAS Project (Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal)

Preliminary results of a historical-archaeological study of a transatlantic port of call

Jos Bettencourt Patrcia Carvalho Cristvo Fonseca

Die Konservierung und Restaurierung des Unterwasser-Erbes

Logistik und Vorbereitungen fr eine Wanderausstellung
Olivier Berger



Im vorangehenden Artikel von Vladimir R. Cepelev wird eingangs erwhnt, dass die Vorfahren der Russen, Ukrainer und Weirussen mit
ihren Einbumen auf dem Dnepr
und Don bis zum Schwarzen Meer...
gelangt seien, und zwar teils des
Handels wegen, teils in kriegerischer
Absicht. Da auch im vorigen Jahrgang dieser Zeitschrift zwei Beitrge
desselben Autors enthalten sind


The Roman wreck at Conque des Salins

A type of vessel adapted to protected waters

Marie-Pierre Jzgou Daniel Rouquette Stphanie Wicha

Nautische Archologie in der Antike

Karin Hornig


Teil II 1. Die cajka

oder Mwe

Vladimir Romanovic Cepelev

Im Einbaum ber das Schwarze Meer

Eine alte Beschreibung des Wasserweges von Kiev ins Byzantinische Reich
Christoph Brker


Das Bcherbrett


Joint Statement


The PIAS Project

J. Bettencourt P. Carvalho C. Fonseca

The PIAS Project

(Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal)
Preliminary results of a historical-archaeological study of a
transatlantic port of call
Jos Bettencourt Patrcia Carvalho Cristvo Fonseca
Abstract The PIAS Project, started in 2006 and with the end foreseen for 2008, aims to contribute to the study of
Angra do Herosmo harbour from the 16th to the 19th centuries, through the study, monitorization and cultural heritage evaluation of the archaeological sites Angra A, B, D, E, and F. These underwater shipwreck remains are located
within the protected area of Angra Bay Archaeological Park, created in 2006. The project aims also to contribute to the
study of the written sources related to the Azores as Atlantic ports of call. This paper presents the preliminary results of
the first PIAS field season, carried out in 2006 on Angra A, Angra B and Angra F shipwreck sites.
Inhalt Das Projekt PIAS, das 2006 begonnen wurde und 2008 enden soll, hat das Ziel, am Studium des Hafens von
Angra do Herosmo vom 16. bis zum 19. Jh. durch Untersuchung, Kontrolle und Auswertung des Kulturerbes an den
archologischen Fundstellen Angra A, B, D, E und F mitzuwirken. Diese Wracks liegen innerhalb des geschtzten
Bereiches des 2006 geschaffenen Archologischen Parks der Angra-Bucht. Auerdem will das Projekt zum Studium der
Schriftquellen beitragen, die mit den Azoren als atlantischem Anlaufhafen in Verbindung stehen. Dieser Beitrag legt die
vorlufigen Ergebnisse der ersten, 2006 durchgefhrten Untersuchungen an den Wrackstellen Angra A, B und F vor.
1. Introduction
European voyages of discovery and
expansion in the Atlantic and Indian
Oceans soon revealed the importance of the geographic position of
the Archipelago of the Azores, a fact
particularly clear after the establishment of regular connections between
Europe, Asia and the American continent, by the end of the 15th and
the beginning of the 16th century.
In effect, until the generalization of
steam navigation in the second half
of the 19th century, the natural factors influencing sailing navigation in
the Atlantic forced ships en route to
Europe to pass near the Azores or to
call at the Azores islands.
The Azores are a group of nine volcanic islands located on the North
Atlantic between the European continent and North America, 1500 km
west of the Iberian Peninsula (fig. 1).
Through the entire 16th and part of
the 17th century, the main Atlantic
port of call was located on the
southern coast of Terceira Island, at
Angra Bay, which became a deep sea

harbour for Portuguese and Castilian ships returning to Europe. Although Angra Bay is a natural anchorage area, protected from the dominating winds of north-northeast, it
remains exposed to south and southeast storms, which were the cause of
several shipwrecks, attested by written
sources and oral tradition, and confirmed by archaeological evidence,
which only recently began to be
Traditionally, studies on the Azores
as ports of call and on Atlantic navigation have been based solely on written sources. In 2006, however, the
Centro de Histria de Alm-Mar
(CHAM)1, launched the PIAS2 project, funded by the Direco Regional
da Cultura dos Aores (DRC). This
interdisciplinary historical-archaeological project has as its primary goal
to analyze the role of Angra harbour
and of the Azores in the context of
transoceanic navigations from the
16th to the 19th centuries, on the basis of an integrated study of written
and archaeological resources related
to the subject in its different envi-

ronmental, economical, social and

cultural aspects. Additionally, the project intends to assess the tourist and
cultural potential of the Azores archaeological underwater heritage,
contributing in this way to valorise
it. With these general aims, CHAM
plans to survey and investigate the
sites Angra A, B, E, and F, while continuing the ongoing work on the
underwater remains of Angra D
ship. This paper presents the preliminary results of the first PIAS field
season, carried out in 2006.
2. Historical and geographical
The important role played by the
islands of the Azores as ports of call
in the structure of navigation in the
early modern period is well known.
The structural conditions of navigation in the Atlantic, determined by
the Canaries Current and the Northeast trade winds3, prevented ships
returning to Europe from Asia,
Africa and America from following a
straight route along the African

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Heft 1


Fig. 1: Location of the Azores Islands and archaeological sites surveyed in 2006.

coast. Therefore, before the end of

the first quarter of the 16th century,
a new route was developed, the socalled volta da Guin ou da Mina
(the Guinea or Mina turn), by which
ships left the vicinity of the West African coast and entered the ocean to
circumvent the Northeast trade
winds, a deflection which eventually
made them pass by or call at the
Azores islands4.

With the beginning of the India

Run (Carreira da ndia) in 1500,
connecting annually Lisbon to Asia,
and with the establishment of regular connections between Castile and
the American continent, the Azores
definitely became a geostrategic reference point. In this context, the town
of Angra, owing to its natural conditions and to the safety of its anchorage, became a well-established port

of call. That brought about the expansion of several activities defence,

naval repairs, supplying of provisions, recovery of the crews, protection of the ships and its cargos
which, as far as the Portuguese ships
were concerned, were mostly a Provedoria das Armadas assignment5.
This Crown institution, which appeared around 1527, was responsible for the outfitting of Portuguese


The PIAS Project

J. Bettencourt P. Carvalho C. Fonseca

ships coming from India, Brazil and

Africa and calling at the islands; it
also ensured the protection of the
Crowns finances by fighting pirates
and privateers and by salvaging
goods lost in shipwrecks. The naval
defence of the fleets was ensured by
the warning caravels (Caravelas de
Aviso), by the Islands fleet (Armada
das Ilhas) and by fleets of the Crown
operating in the Azores. The warning caravels and the Islands fleet
detected and gave warning of the
presence of enemy ships near the islands, delivered the Kings orders to
the fleets indicating the route to
take to Lisbon and the precautions
required on arrival at Tagus River
and escorted the ships in the last
stage of the voyage.
The islands were also an indispensable geographic reference point for
orientation purposes. Usually, ships
steered east at the latitude of the
Flores and Corvo islands. After calling at the islands, they took the
course of the European continent
between 40 N and 41 N, taking
advantage from the winds of the
Portuguese coast, which blow mainly from north-northeast during the
summer months6.
Support for Portuguese and Castilian fleets made possible the development of Angra and conditioned
the urban structure of the town,
which became an important military
and economic regional center. The
original settlement core dated from
the middle of the 15th century and
it still looked very much medieval,
being located on a hill where a castle was built; afterwards, the settlement expanded into the bay area,
where the seats of power were gradually installed and the harbour was
built, along with a shipyard and facilities designed to support navigation7 . From the middle of the 16th
century onwards, Angra, along with
other harbour areas in the region,
was protected by a complex of coastal fortifications, among which the
one located on top of Monte Brasil8
stood out, protecting both Angra
Bay (east of Monte Brasil) and Fanal
Bay (west of Monte Brasil). In
effect, with the increase in maritime
traffic brought about by transocean-

ic navigation, it was necessary to

react to the frequent attacks by
foreign pirates and privateers, mainly French and English, who began to
visit the islands in the 16th century,
laying in wait for the Portuguese and
Spanish fleets coming from Asia,
Africa and the American continent9.
In this context of intense nautical
activity, it was natural that shipwreck losses were frequent especially near the main harbours of the
region and they were often mentioned in the official correspondence
between the Crown and its officers
in the region. The literature of the
time also mentioned them, as happened, for instance, on the Dutch Jan
Huygen van Linschotens Itinerario10,
which described how, during the
authors stay at Angra in 1591, a storm
caused the loss of several ships from
a Spanish overseas fleet, twelve in
Terceira, two in So Jorge, two in
the Pico, three in Graciosa, and four
in So Miguel, while others were
lost between the islands. A recent
work based on archival documentation as well as printed bibliography,
counted approximately 550 known
shipwrecks in the region between 1525
the year of the first known mention of a ship loss and 199511.
3. The first underwater discoveries
In this historical background, interest for the underwater remains of
shipwrecks that took place over the
centuries in Angra Bay has been significant, although knowledge of the
Azores underwater heritage is still
scant. After the introduction in Portugal of scuba equipment, invented
by Jacques Cousteau and Emile
Gagnon in the 1940s, the Azores
underwater cultural heritage began
to be explored. Between 1961 and
1965, the Portuguese Navy working
together with the Azores Air Zone
Command, recovered five submerged bronze guns at Fanal Bay (fig. 1),
near the Zimbreiro and So Diego
fortresses, which led several researchers to identify them as pieces fallen from these fortresses into the sea
as result of earthquakes12. During
the following decade, British teams
carried out archaeological surveys at

the coast of Terceira island. Sidney

Wignall who led a team which for
six months looked for the remains of
the English ship REVENGE, lost in
1591 mentioned the discovery of
at least two shipwreck sites at Angra
Bay, and of a bronze gun, recovered
in 1972 and at present entrusted to
the Angra Museum. The gun was
located in the vicinity of Monte Brasil, at 30 m deep, next to Santo Antnio fortress13. Another piece, bearing the arms of Francis I of France
(1515-1547), was recovered by the
Underwater Archaeology Group
(Grupo de Arqueologia Subaqutica)
in 1996 in the same coastal area at
36 m deep.
4. The beginning of underwater
After those pioneering surveys, the
first studies with acceptable scientific standards were conducted, from
1995 to 1998, by the Angra
Museum through the Underwater
Archaeology Group , the Institute
of Nautical Archaeology (INA) and
the Portuguese National Centre for
Nautical and Underwater Archaeology (CNANS Centro Nacional de
Arqueologia Nutica e Subaqutica)
and partially supported by the
Regional Government of Azores. At
first in the vicinity of Angra, afterwards in other islands of the Central
and Western group, several field seasons were conducted on wrecks previously known to local divers. Those
preliminary surveys made possible
to carry out the identification of
some shipwrecks in Angra Bay dating from the period between the
16th and the 19th centuries Angra A
(19th century), Angra B (16th or 17th
centuries), RUNHER (1864) and
LIDADOR (1878), thus confirming
the great scientific potential of this
coastal area of the region14.
The first excavations were carried
out in 1998, following the predisturbance survey prior to Angras
leisure harbour construction. In
consequence, the remains of two
other vessels, i.e. Angra C (17th century) and Angra D (16th or 17th
centuries), located at the implantation area of the protection breakwa-

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Heft 1


that presents chamfered corners, it

bears two longitudinal mortises, where
the stanchions that supported the
first deck were inserted, and two
iron concretions.
The mast-step is an expanded portion of the keelson measuring about
1 m length by 0,38 m wide (fig. 3).
In this part, intensively colonized by
marine borers (Teredo sp.), were preserved the mortice for the mast heel,
18 cm maximum length by 15 cm
wide and 9 cm deep. One lateral buttress, that supported laterally the main
mast, is visible in one of the ships
Fig. 2: Preliminary planimetric sketch of Angra F archaeological site.

ter, were excavated, recorded,, disassembled and deposited in a deeper

area of the bay15.
In 2002, the discovery of two other
sites Angra E and Angra F (16th
or 17th centuries) was declared by
local divers. Finally, in 2004, a DRC
survey in Angra Bay and the adjacent coast of Monte Brasil let to the
identification of some scattered
finds and another modern wreck
(Angra G)16.
5. Preliminary results and analyses
The first archaeological field season
in the scope of PIAS project was carried out in August 2006 and had as
its main aims to assess and preliminary survey the shipwreck sites
Angra B, E and F and to monitor
Angra A and the deposit conditions
of Angra D. In Angra A, B, and F all
exposed features were analysed,
measured and recorded by photography and photomosaics. The positions of these remains, the scattered
artifacts and the limits of geological
features, were obtained by trilateration using tape measurements and
relative depths in relation to an established grid of datums around the
sites. The available data were combined and organised on a digital
sketch plan, which integrates the
diverse data formats at a site level.
In Angra F, it was possible to delimit
the archaeological remains, which

correspond to an area that measures

about 13 m length and 9 m wide
(fig. 2). The wreck remains are located at 9 m deep and orientated
roughly north-west/south-east. The
exposed archaeological deposits are
dominated by a pile of ballast stones,
in which blocks of limestone and
quartzite were identified and where
parts of the ship are visible: the keelson, the main mast step assemblage,
sections of frames (floor timbers and
futtocks) in one of the ships boards
and a hull plank in the other.
The preserved part of the keelson
measures about 4,5 m length and
19,8 cm sided. In its upper surface,

Eight floor timbers were recognized

partially exposed near the keelson.
They measure between 10 and 19 cm
sided and seem to be fastened to the
futtocks by a combination of nails
and treenails, observed in one joining visible in an eroded top.
One plank was found in the approximate limit of the ballast mound.
The only available data concerning
their dimensions is the thickness of
about 5 cm. The treenails pattern
observed in the upper surface of the
exposed frames suggests that the
planks were fastened to the frames
with a combination of nails and treenails, but only the wooden treenails,
with an approximate diameter of 2,2
cm, are well visible.

Fig. 3: Angra F. General view of the keelson and the main mast step assemblage.
The mast step corresponds to an expanded portion of the keelson and was supported
by buttresses.


The PIAS Project

J. Bettencourt P. Carvalho C. Fonseca

sons upper surface, also appear in

the same remains, where they were
spaced every three or four floor timbers. Other similarities concern the
fastening joining the outer planking
and the frames or the floor timbers
and the first futtocks, which in most
of the above examples is also a combination of nails and treenails. The
scantlings of the ship timbers observed seem to indicate that we are in
the presence of a vessel of small to
medium size, which makes it of extreme relevance for the study of shipbuilding during the Iberian expansion period.

Fig. 4: Preliminary planimetric sketch plan of Angra B archaeological site.

The scarce finds included pottery,

which cannot be related to the shipwreck, copper nails and lead bullets
recovered in the mortice for the
mast heel.
Compared with other modern
wrecks, these features present similarities to those recorded in hull remains related to the 16th and 17th
century Iberian-Atlantic tradition of
shipbuilding. On the one hand, the
visible mortises on the top of the
keelson resemble the existing mortises in Ria de Aveiro A wreck (Portugal, 15th century), in SAN DIEGO

wreck (Philippines, 1600) or in the

Cais do Sodr ship (Portugal, 15th
century)17. On the other hand, the
expanded portion of the keelson for
the main mast supported laterally by
buttresses appears, for instance, in
the remains of Highborn Cay (Bahamas, 16th century), Cattewater (England, 16th century), SAN JUAN (Canada, 1565), Rye A (England, 16th
century), Western Ledge (Bermuda,
16th century) or Angra D (16th or
17th centuries)18. Iron bolts joining
the keelson, the floor timbers and the
keel, presumed in Angra F by the
presence of concretions in the keel-

Angra B wreck was located, near the

Figueirinha quay, at around 5 m
deep. Archaeological work was conducted some years before19 and the
preliminary comparison between the
data collected then and those collected in 2006 suggests that there was a
deep change in the exposed conditions of the remains. According to
Kevin Crisman, in 1996, were visible
part of the keel and of one area in the
south extremity of the site with an
exposed part of the ship (frames,
stringers, inner and outer planking)
underneath a ballast pile 15 m length
and 11 m wide. The preserved part
of the keel measured around 15 m
length, 27 cm moulded and 17 cm
sided, and it seemed also to be covered with lead strips. The ten visible
extremities of the frames in that area
measured between 13 and 25 cm
sided and around 20 cm moulded.
The inner planking, measuring about
26 cm width and 5 cm thick, was
joined to the frames with a combination of iron nails and wooden
treenails and was flanked by two
stringers between 19 cm sided and
11 cm moulded. The outer planking,
for its part, measured approximately
27 cm width and 5 cm thick in average and it was fixed to the frames
with two or three iron nails and one
wooden treenail with an average diameter of 2,5 cm. Kevin Crisman
also recorded two kinds of stone ballast, one composed of loose blocks
of granite and limestone, the other
of a type of concrete. This led him
to conclude that the ship had been
loaded, between the frames, with a
primary ballast composed of a liquid
mix of sand, lime and hardened

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Heft 1


gravel, covered by the inner planking and by a secondary ballast of

smaller than usual size, similarly to
ships built in Biscay like the
(1620) and the NUESTRA SEORA
In 2006, however, Angra B wreck
was exposed in an area measured
approximately 17 m length (fig. 4)
were could be observed three distinct areas with ship remains: in the
first (fig. 5), located at the north extremity of the remains, parts of the
frames and of the planking were preserved, occupying an area of about 7
m2; in the second, the extremities of
the frames of one of the ships
boards were found, measuring a
maximum length of about 3,60 m;
in the third, that corresponds to the
one analysed in 1996, located at the
south extremity of the ballast pile,
part of the frames and the inner
planking were preserved, measuring
a maximum length of 2,90 m. The
ship remains were below a ballast
pile (limestone [?], quartzite, flint and
other unidentified rocks), ensuring
the protection of a significant part
of the hull in an area very exposed to
the swell of the sea during extreme
wave events.
As in area 3, inspected by INA, the
actually exposed frames were very
worn away from the top down and

Fig. 6: The stern heel photographic mosaic.

measured between 15 and 21 cm

sided. In area 2 they correspond to a
continuous succession of frames,
without in between spacing (fig. 5).
They were also fixed to the planking
by a combination of nails and treenails (two or three nails and one
wooden treenail). In area 1, the outer
planking measured between 5 and 5,5
cm thick and between 32 and 35 cm
width. In areas 1 and 2, in the exterior face of the outer planking, were
visible the lead strips that protected
the hull.
In 2006, finds in the site included a
musket bullet and fragments of pottery and of the lead strips that protected the hull. They could be observed scattered and among the ballast.

Fig. 5: Exposed ship remains in Angra B site protected by the ballast mound. In this
area we have the extremities of the frames of one of the sides, and part of the hull

No remains were found of the keel

and the primary ballast mentioned
by Kevin Crisman, which may point
to a gradual and simultaneous process of erosion and sedimentation of
different parts of the site, as seems to
be suggested by the fact that all exposed frames in area 1 were only a
few centimetres high, due to erosion
by abrasion. In spite of the modifications in the deposit conditions,
the available data, at this stage, suggest that the remains belong to a
ship of medium size, probably bigger than Angra F. Regarding its origins and chronology, the hypothesis
put forward first by Kevin Crisman
suggesting that it corresponded to
an Iberian vessel from the 16th or
17th century, still seems valid, in
view of the similarities detected in
2006 between the wreck and others
ships previously related to that tradition, namely the lead sheathing and
the fastening pattern between the
frames and the planking21.
During the survey carried out in the
vicinity of Angra B other archaeological materials in wood and in concretions were located, that, at this
stage, cannot be related to the hull
structure preserved at Angra B. The
most remarkable piece among these
materials is part of a ships stern (fig.
6), located over the iron plating of a
more recent wreck. This piece of
wood was recovered at the end of
the field season because it was clearly at risk of being damaged by natural processes. It corresponds to a
stern heel preserved in 2,60 m of its
original length and maintaining the


The PIAS Project

J. Bettencourt P. Carvalho C. Fonseca

Portuguese treatises on shipbuilding,

like in Joo Baptista Lavanha and
Manuel Fernandezs works22. The
characteristics and the state of preservation of this stern heel clearly
distinguish it from the Angra B
wreck, the closest context, suggesting that it may come from another
shipwreck site in the bay.
At the end of the field season, the
examination of some wood structures
observed near Angra B, led to the
identification of the remains of another shipwreck. A superficial cleaning by hand-fanning of the structures
revealed them to be part of a ships
extremity. The exposed remains were
made up of some hull planking and
a wooden knee.. A ballast pile,
measuring about 10 m length, and
other ship structures were identified
in the vicinity, scattered around and
deeply protected by the sand. A connection between these remains and
the stern heel mentioned above is a
possibility that can only be confirmed by future excavation of the

Fig. 7: Exposed ship remains in Angra A site. We can observe evidences of bioerosion
responsible for the gradual destruction of exposed wooden timbers in the middle part
of the site (frames, keel and hull planking).

skeg, the beginning of the stern

post, with 1,17 m high, and iron
concretions of the first gudgeon. Its
maximum thickness is about 18 cm
at the base, and its minimum 10 cm
at the top, at the surface for the Yshaped floor timbers. At the incomplete extremity, the heel stands at a
height of 19 cm, which then increases to 39 cm due to the presence of a
salience. At 1,7 m from this extremity, the rabbet, which runs along
both side surfaces, rises diagonally,
marking the beginning of the stern
post. Over the skeg, the heel seems
to have a filling piece which is pre-

served with a maximum height of

40 cm and a width of 14 cm. The
rabbit has a depth around 4 cm
carved on the sides of the heel for the
insertion of the garboard planks.
Although the fastenings have not yet
been recorded in detail, they seem to
consist of iron nails and bolts. This
type of stern bears close similarities
to that of some 16th and 17th centuries ships of Iberian origin, namely the SAN JUAN, the Ria de Aveiro
A, the Angra D, and the Corpo
Santo ship (Portugal, 15th century).
These elements were also described
and represented in some of the 17th

Recording and monitoring work

was also conducted on the Angra A
wreck. The site is located approximately 5-7 m deep and it corresponds
to a ballast pile measuring around
35 m length and 11 m width, that
protects the remains of a 19th century ship23. The work carried out by
CHAM in 2006, a photomosaic of
the area occupied by the exposed
hull and the observation of the structures, made possible to monitor the
deposit conditions. The hull presents
visible signs of bioerosion (fig. 7),
responsible for the almost total destruction of the exposed wood
(frames, keel, hull planking and
stringers) and for the dismantling of
the structures.
Angra E, discovered by a local diver
in 2002, was not relocated, which
may be explained by an accretion
occurrence at the western part of the
Angra Bay. Accordingly to Catarina
Garcia, who undertook a preliminary observation of these remains located between Angra A and Angra B,
the site is composed of a hull extremity and remains protected in a sandy

9. Jahrgang 2009

Heft 1


Finally, a copper cauldron (fig. 8),

found isolated north of Angra F, was
recovered and is at present undergoing treatment at the Conservation
Centre of the Azores (Centro de
Conservao e Restauro dos Aores).
6. Concluding remarks
In relation to site formation processes, the sites location, throughout
the east coast of Monte Brazil, suggests a loss caused by south or southwest winds, the biggest danger for
ships anchored in the bay. The small
amount of artifacts, the absence of
anchors and artillery indicate that
intense salvage operations occurred
after the shipwreck initial event and
are responsible for the lack of those
categories on the archaeological record. Contemporary salvage operations, as reported in documentary
sources, were common, both in Angra Bay and in the other islands. For
instance, by the end of the 16th century, Philip I of Portugal (Philip II
of Spain), gave great importance to
the salvage of submerged artillery
pieces lost following shipwrecks of
Portuguese and Spanish ships or naval clashes near the main Azores
harbours. During the same period,
there were attempts to retrieve the
artillery of the carrack CATALINA,
lost near Vila Franca do Campo at
So Miguel Island24.
On the other hand, the ships conservation of the ships is due to the presence of ballast piles that protected
the remains in areas exposed to the
wave effects, during storms. However, the changes observed during
monitoring works done at the Angra
A and Angra B shipwrecks and the
observation of Angra F suggests that
these remains are actually affected
by a complex combination of environmental processes that can not be
assessed by now. For example, we recognized the action of marine borers
in the exposed wood of Angra F and
Angra A. In Angra B, however, the
exposed wood seems to be mostly
affected by an abrasion process.
Based on this preliminary archaeological assessment, it is still too early
to advance definitive presumptions

Fig. 8: The copper cauldron in situ before recovery.

about the origin, dimension and chronology of the surveyed wrecks. Nevertheless, the exposed elements of
Angra F are similar to those presented by ships of the Iberian-Atlantic
tradition dating from the 16th and
17th centuries. Data available on Angra B are not as conclusive, since no
structural elements were found that
could serve as safe architectural signatures, but they point to a similar
conclusion and the same applies to
the stern heel located next to Angra B.
The litological classification of the
ballasts also confirms an exogenous
origin for this ships once local geology is entirely formed by basalt.
Analysed together, the archaeological data available by now, more than
just an important evidence of ships
technology, allow us to relate most
of the archaeological remains mentioned to the Azores Islands as Atlantic ports of call in the 16th and
17th centuries. In fact, in the Angra
Bay area most of the other identified
shipwrecks and scattered finds date
from the 16th and the 17th centuries

as well and can be related to the

same subject.
Angra D, the best preserved wreck
ever excavated in the Azores, also
presented most of the architectural
features usually associated to IberianAtlantic shipbuilding some of which
can also be observed at Angra F, such
as the expanded portion of the keelson. During the rescue excavation,
finds related to the ships functioning
and live aboard were located under
and beneath the protective layer of
stone ballasts; olive jars and ceramics
manufactured in the south of Spain
were predominant among these
finds, making possible to identify it
as a vessel lost during the last decades of the 16th or the first decades
of the 17th century, possibly of Spanish origin25.
The Angra G shipwreck, found in
the course of a survey carried out by
DRC, was located 50 m deep, near
Monte Brasil. The site is characterized by the presence of a wood structure exposed near two iron anchors


The PIAS Project

J. Bettencourt P. Carvalho C. Fonseca

and other scattered surface materials. The presence of cowry shells

among the surface finds suggests
that it may have been a ship coming
from Asia26, from where the Portuguese used to bring this kind of
items, as can be attested by its discovery at shipwreck sites of India Run
ships, namely, in Azores, at the
The remains of another wreck, Angra C, also excavated in 1998, were
located at about 28 m from Angra D.
These remains, for their part, presented features suggesting that they
belonged to a vessel of North-European, possibly Dutch origin, in view
of the similarities between the ships
structural features and those prevalent in the shipbuilding tradition of
that region in the first half of the
17th century, such as the double
outer planking and the fastening
made exclusively of wooden treenails28.
Other archaeological remains of the
port of call of Angra can be found at
the anchorage place known as Cemitrio das ncoras (Anchors Graveyard)29. Located east of Monte Brasil, inside the line defined by the alignment of the Santo Antnio and the
So Sebastio fortresses, the site is
known since the beginning of scubadiving in the region. It consists of a
group of iron anchors scattered on a
large area between 15 and 30 m deep.
The nautical use of this area is documented in written sources and
appears in the iconography as a favoured anchorage for ships in transit.
Aside from these remains, mention
should also be made of the artillery
assemblage described a few paragraphs
above, made up of Portuguese, Spanish, French and English bronze guns
from the 16th and the first decades
of the 17th century; they have been
associated with losses fallen accidentally into the sea from fortresses located nearby30, a hypothesis that, in
our view, must be seen with caution,
owing to the lack of deposition contextual data.
At a regional level, known underwater archaeological resources in the

other islands of the Azores are also

significant and can be related to the
same subject. In the 1970s, pieces of
iron guns were found and recovered
near the Vila Franca do Campo islets (So Miguel island) and Flores
island. In 2000, CNANS carried
out a rescue excavation of an 18th
century shipwreck site at Vila da
Calheta (So Jorge island)31. In 2002
and 2004, Arqueonova carried out a
preliminary survey on the NOSSA
SENORA DE LUZ wreck site, a Portuguese Indiaman carrack lost in 1615 at
Faial Island on its way back from
Goa (India). At this scattered site,
artifacts recovered included sherds
of Chinese porcelain, Martaban jars,
Chinese jars, glass beads and cowry
In sum, the archaeological remains
located at Angra Bay and the Azores
islands document the use of this
coast by transatlantic navigation
between the 16th and the 19th centuries. Integrated studies of both written and archaeological sources point
to it being used, between the 16th
and 17th centuries, mainly by Portuguese and Spanish vessels, which
called at Angra harbour during the
homeward voyage from Asia, Africa
and America. In this context, these
remains launched again, with new
data, the discussion on the contribution that Maritime Archaeology can
give to the development of our historical knowledge of overseas expansion, namely of the strategic role
played by islands in the scope of the
North Atlantic navigation and their
influences to the regional cultural
The results achieved in the first field
season of the PIAS project confirm
the exceptional scientific, cultural and
heritage potential of Angra Bay.
They also validate in the sea the
historical importance and the World
Heritage City status conferred to
Angra do Herosmo by UNESCO
in 1983.
We would like to thank the participants in the 2006 field work: Paulo
Noronha, Joo Bettencourt, Chri-

stelle Chouzenoux, Brgida Meireles

and Cristina Lima. We would like
also to thank Catarina Garcia, DRC
archaeologist, for her contribute in
the research planning and field work
phase, as well as Jos Noronha, President of Clube Nutico de Angra, for
the logistic facilities, and our skipper
Rui Santos from Octopus Diving
School. We would like to thank
Francisco Almeida for revising the

Research unit of New University of Lisbon

(Faculdade de Cincias Sociais e Humanas da
Universidade Nova de Lisboa) and from
Azores University (UA-Universidade dos
Aores), which promotes several activities related to the study of Portuguese overseas expansion, namely on the field of the history
of the Azores.

The Project PIAS (project for the study,

protection and valorisation of the sites
Angra A, B, D, E and F) is funded by the
Azores government (Governo dos Aores); the
Nautical Club (Clube Nutico de Angra do
Herosmo) provides logistical support; Professor Jos Damio Rodrigues (CHAM-UA)
is the coordinator of the historical component of the project; the coordinator of the
archaeological component is Jos Bettencourt, one of the co-authors of this paper.

Guedes, M.J., O condicionalismo fsico do

Atlntico e a expanso dos povos ibricos,
Studia, Vol. 47 (Lisboa 1990) 254-291.

On this matter see, for instance: Os Aores

e o Atlntico (sculos VIX-XVII), Actas do
Colquio Internacional realizado em Angra
do Herosmo de 8 a 13 de Agosto de 1983
(Angra do Herosmo 1984); Matos, A.T., Os
Aores e a carreira das ndias no sculo XVI,
in: Estudos de histria de Portugal. Homenagem a A.H. de Oliveira Marques, Vol.
II (Lisboa 1983) 93-110; Matos, A.T., A
provedoria das armadas da Ilha Terceira e a
carreira da ndia no sculo XVI (Lisboa 1985);
Matos, A.T., As escalas do Atlntico no sculo XVI, Srie Separatas Vol. 197 (Lisboa
1988); Matos, A., A Armada das Ilhas e a Armada da Costa (Novos Elementos para o seu
Estudo) (Lisboa 1990).

In 1520, the Crown had already issued a

set of written instructions for ships bound to
the Azores. This document put forward the
basic programme of what came to be later
the Provedoria das Armadas e Naus das ndias
at the islands. The activity of the institution

9. Jahrgang 2009

was intense during the 16th and 17th centuries. At the head of the Provedoria was the
provedor das armadas, a post which was in the
possession of the Castro family until its extinction in the 19th century; there were also
many minor officers guardas das naus, patro das naus e ribeiras, escrivo da Provedoria
who ensured the fulfilment of the institutions duties. At the other islands, the Provedoria was represented by the almoxarifes, feitores or juzes da alfndega, who were responsible for supplying the carracks and frigates
of the fleet, for outfitting of supporting
ships, and for informing the provedor on the
movements of fleets and of enemies. For
more on this matter, see note 4.

Herosmo (Terceira, Aores), Revista Portuguesa de Arqueologia 2.2, 1999, 211-232.

Sources of illustrations


Figs. 1, 2 and 4: PIAS project (CHAM).

Garcia, C., Campanha de Carta Arqueolgica Subaqutica da Baa de Angra do

Herosmo. Relatrio Final 2004 (Angra do
Herosmo 2005).

Alves, F. Rieth, E. et al., The hull remains of Ria de Aveiro A: a mid-15th century shipwreck from Portugal: a preliminary
analysis, in: Alves, F. (ed.), International Symposium on Archaeology of Medieval and
Modern Ships of Iberian-Atlantic Tradition:
Hull remains, manuscripts and ethnographic
sources: a comparative approach, Trabalhos
de Arqueologia 18, (Lisboa 2001) 317-345.

See note 3.

Rodrigues, J.D., A Carreira da ndia e a Escala Aoriana, in: Pavilho de Portugal Exposio Mundial de Lisboa de 1998, Catlogo Oficial (Lisboa 1998) 131-147.

Meneses, A., Angra na rota da ndia: funes, cobias e tempo, in: Os Aores e o Atlntico (see note 4) 721-740.

Oertling, T.J., The Concept of the Atlantic Vessel, in: Alves, F. (ed.) International
Symposium etc. (see note 17), 233-240.


Linschoten, J., Itinerrio, viagem ou navegao para as ndias orientais ou Portuguesas, ed. by Pos, A. Loureiro, R.M. (Lisboa

Monteiro, P., A carta arqueolgica subaqutica dos Aores: metodologia, resultados

e sua aplicao na gesto do patrimnio subaqutico da Regio Autnoma dos Aores,
in: Actas do 3 Congresso de Arqueologia
Peninsular, Vol. 8 (Porto 2000) 497-524.
Hoskins, S.G., 16th Century Cast-Bronze
Ordnance at the Museu de Angra do Herosmo, B.A., Texas A&M University (College
Station 2003).

Crisman, K., Angra B: the lead-sheathed

wreck at Porto Novo (Angra do Herosmo,
Terceira island), Revista Portuguesa de
Arqueologia 2.1, 1999, 255-262.

Ibid., 255-262.


Ibid., 255-262.


On this matter see, for example, several

papers in: Alves, F. (ed.), International Symposium etc. (see note 17).
Crisman, K. Lowenn, B., Revista Portuguesa de Arqueologia 2.1, 1999, 249-254.
Meneses, A., Os Aores e o domnio
Filipino: 1580-1590, vol. I (Angra do
Herosmo 1987) 113, 229-230.

See note 15.


See note 16.


Bettencourt, J., Os vestgios da nau

dos trabalhos arqueolgicos, Arquiplago
Histria, 2 srie, IX-X, 2005-2006, 231273.

Wignall, S., In search of Spanish treasure

(Vermont 1982) 114-149.

See note 15.


See note 16.



See note 12.



See note 11.

Garcia, C., Monteiro, P. Phaneuf, E., Os

destroos dos navios Angra C e D descobertos durante a interveno arqueolgica subaqutica realizada ... na baa de Angra do


Figs. 3, 5-8: Jos Bettencourt (CHAM).

Jos Bettencourt
Patrcia Carvalho
Cristvo Fonseca
Centro de Histria de Alm-Mar (CHAM)
Avenida de Berna, 26 C
Gabinete 2.19 Edifcio DRM
1069-061 Lisboa


See, for example: Meneses, A., Os Aores e

o domnio Filipino: 1580-1590 (Angra do
Herosmo 1987).

Heft 1


Garcia, C., Interveno arqueolgica subaqutica HMS Pallas, Calheta, S. Jorge,

Atlntida 2002.

See note 27.

Translation from the Portuguese

Andr Murteira.